The pros and cons of English’s omnipresence
English is everywhere we go. It’s the “universal” language, for better or for worse. As Professor John McWhorther states in his TED talk, 4 Reasons to Learn a New Language: “It’s the language of the internet, it’s the language of finance, it’s the language of air traffic control, of popular music, diplomacy, English is everywhere”.
The problem is it’s so predominant, that it’s easy for native English speakers to get lazy and feel it’s unnecessary to learn a second language. However, for most of the world, learning English, and even a third language, is deemed as vital. As the Telegraph argues, “For the rest of Europe, the idea of only speaking one’s mother tongue would be a distinct disadvantage both socially and economically. Over half of students in the European Union will study two or more foreign languages and International Baccalaureate students must study at least one other language in addition to English”.
So, it seems, us folks in the English speaking world need to catch up ASAP. But how?
A different perspective on the world
To hear and speak to people in their native tongue is to experience a secret world. You get an inside peek into their expressions, gestures and emotions specific to their culture that would otherwise be hidden if they were communicating with you in English. They may even open up to you much quicker if they know you’re trying to learn their language. Especially if their language is not as common to learn, such Swahili, Turkish or Polish. Their face will often light up. They will also be delighted to hear you make cute mistakes and eagerly want to help you improve. As a native English speaker, I realised that we don’t know what it’s like to have the honour of someone who is interested and dedicated to learning your language, because we all expect everyone to know English. By doing this, we’re missing out on so much perspective and learning opportunity!
There are health benefits too!
If you speak 2 languages or more, you’re less likely to get dementia and improve multitasking. It also improves your intelligence, your memory, and your perceptiveness. In essence, it improves your overall brain development, which only improve your health, but also your job prospects and overall quality of life. Check out more health benefits of learning another language in this Telegraph article: Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism.
Last but not least, it’s fun and easy!
Nowadays, with globalisation and technology, learning another language is incredibly easy and fun. We’re so interconnected with other cultures. From their food, to their music and movies, we have access to so many different parts of other cultures. All you need is an in person tutor or an internet connection and an hour or so a week.
How can we help you learn a language?
At Uber Tutors, we provide language tutoring in more popular European languages such as French, Spanish and German but also in important global languages like Mandarin and Arabic. Check out our language tutoring page here. Our team assesses your needs, challenges and learning goals, matches you with exactly the right tutor, and you start. Easy!
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02030867311 to set up your free consultation and get matched with a tutor who will help your child master their second language.